How long after giving birth should I wait before havingSex?


How long before you are ready for se x is more a personal than medical decision. Doctors and midwives have generally advised waiting until the six-week postnatal check


If you’ve just had a baby, restarting your s ex life may not be a priority. You’ll be sore, not to mention exhausted. Up to 90% of first-time mothers who deliver va ginally will have torn tissue or an episiotomy (a small cut). If you’ve had a caesarean section your wound will hurt.

Women used to be given va ginal examinations at this point to assess healing but research showed the practice was not useful (most were fine) and it was abandoned.


A study in BJOG:An International Obstetrics and Gynaecology Journal, found that by six weeks 41% of first-time mothers had had vaginal sex. By 12 weeks this had risen to 78%. Women were more likely to have sex by six weeks if they had delivered their child vag inally. Only about a third of women who had an episiotomy had resumed sex by six weeks.

Studies have showed an earlier return to se x, with many women (even those who had episiotomies) having vag inal se x after two to four weeks. A paper in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology remarked that while women who had had stitches experienced some bleeding and discomfort they “do not experience important harm”.

So are there any reasons why you shouldn’t start having se x again if you feel like it?

The solution

There is some evidence that it may be best to wait three weeks. When the placenta comes out it leaves a wound in the ute rus which takes time to heal. The blood vessels in this wound close up naturally by the blood clotting and the vessels themselves shrinking, but this takes at least three weeks.

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